Broody hens are very smart. They know the difference between a fake egg and a real egg. Most likely because a hen can sense the heartbeat of an unborn chick. The heart forms and begins to beat on the second day after an egg is laid and somehow hens know this or can feel it. Fake eggs can be used to lure hens to the nest box but hens will quickly realize that the egg is fake and will often push the fake egg out of the nest box and replace it with their own. Broody hens can quickly tell the difference between fake eggs and real eggs. Watch a hen presented with fake eggs and real egg to see how she reacts. See our featured video below.
Featured Video: Broody Hen Knows Best! Not All Eggs Are Created Equal
A broody hen will pull a real egg underneath her. Watch as this broody hen is presented with a fake egg, an egg gourd, and lastly-a real egg. The results prove a hen knows the difference.
I use fake eggs to lure my hens into new nest boxes or to get them to lay their eggs where I want them. It works most the time. The only problem I have had with the fake eggs is that the hens will often push the fake egg out of the nest before they lay their egg in the nest where the fake egg was. I just put the fake egg back in the nest after I collect their eggs and the next day they will go back in the nest box, push the fake egg out again and lay their egg. Some of my hens leave the fake egg in the nest. In my experience, fake eggs worked better than egg gourds. I have used plastic Easter eggs but they do not seem to work as well as the fake eggs which look like real eggs. Chickens are smart, they know their eggs don't look like that.